NovaMage is another top-level SC competitor hailing from the Dominican Republic. His super aggressive rushdown 2B is a power that has to be reckoned with anywhere he shows!
If you had to introduce yourself in three sentences to some SoulCalibur player who didn’t know you, what would you say?
I’m the craziest 2B you’ll ever meet. While I’m highly competitive and play to win, I love to style. It gives me great satisfaction to play in my own unique way.
What is the origin or meaning of your nickname?
Well, the “Nova” part I took from three places: a boss in Final Fantasy IX (Nova Dragon), from Supernovas (I like stars and galaxy related stuff), and because its latin origin means “New Star”.
The “Mage” part happened because of an incident during college in which a teacher was in disbelief of an answer I gave to a problem he proposed, seemingly cause I pulled an answer out of thin air, and he exclaimed “Oh, really, how do you know this? You must be a mage”. It became a recurrent theme and it stuck to the point my college fellows still call me that to this day.
How did it happen that you ended up playing fighting games?
I played video games from a very early age (around 5-6), usually at the house of relatives or a friend. It didn’t take long before I started running into fighting games in the 90’s (Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat and Killer Instinct were staples of the genre back then). I loved the “face-to-face” aspect of fighting games ever since, and the associated bragging rights. As for SoulCalibur, I’d like to say I happened to be a Tekken player (Heihachi main) and I walked into a store and saw the cover of SoulCalibur II for PS2 with Heihachi on it. Curiosity killed the cat and the rest is history.
Who do you main in SC6 and why?
I main 2B. I used to be a Raphael main back in SC2/3, but I totally didn’t like him in 4 (to the point I basically didn’t play that game), and I never got around to check SC 5. With the announcement of SC VI, I had renewed interest in the game, and while I did check Raphael and thought that his style was decent, I wanted to try out maining a character with quicker horizontal options. Shortly after I saw the trailer for 2B, and even though I never played Nier: Automata, I felt intrigued about the options that she seemed to present as a rushdown character, which is usually the style I like to play. And after playing her for a long time, I’ve certainly confirmed she aligns greatly with the style I like to play.
What is your opinion regarding SC6?
It’s easily the most balanced fighting game of all time (while holding a degree of character variety). I’ve played a few of the other modern fighting games, and none of them have a semblance of the balance in SCVI. Honestly, it would be a perfect game, if not for some of the 3D hitbox inconsistencies that happen from time to time (characters attacking the wrong way, verticals tracking more than they should are the two big offenders). But in all honesty, these issues don’t even come close to stopping my enjoyment of the game.
If you could change one single thing about SC6 what would that be?
Well, design wise, I think I’d make counter hits more punishing in general, frame-wise. It’s cool that some characters have specific lethal hits than can chunk you for a ton of damage in counter, but I feel in general all characters should get some additional frame advantage when they counter hit an opponent with a poke (+2 or +3 maybe). So if a move is +0 on hit, on CH it would be +2 or +3. I feel CH pokes are quite forgiving as they are and encourage defenders to challenge for big rewards often.
What do you consider to be your greatest SC6 achievement and why?
Winning Blink Tournament 2019. It’s major in Dominican Republic, but more than just winning a tournament, I beat my SC6 rival/nemesis Raymondvrc in winners semis. He’d managed to beat me every other tournament but this one I conquered! 😀
Please answer a single question that you were not asked but you would like to answer!
Do you have a favorite SC player? If you do, why is this your favorite player?
My favorite player to watch and play against would be Skyll. Aside from being one of the strongest players (World Champion 2019 so imagine), I think his style is quite the embodiment of discipline and consistency in a video game. In short, if there’s such a thing as “the book”, he literally plays by it. His tournament matches are a joy to watch and I’ve had the chance to play quite a few sets with him myself.
Thank you for the interview!